M's latest musical opus is ready for show and tell. He calls it "The I'm Gonna Love You Forever Waltz."
"You think you used a long enough title, there, Butch?" I asked him.
"Don't get smart, puppy dog," he said. "It's a deliberate word choice, something that songwriters call a hook. Listen for it in the lyrics. When it works, it'll stick in your memory like a sandspur sticks to your foot."
There's some lovely imagery. He played the song for me again and poked his finger at me each time we came to the sandspur.
"Kewl," I said when it was finished. "There's something else different about it, too, though. It has a different--I dunno, flow, for want of a better word--from all your other songs. More of a whirly kind of rhythm. You know what I mean? It makes me feel like getting up and dancing."
He looked pleased. "Then that part must be working, too. It probably feels different to you because it's written in three-quarter time, which is also known as waltz time. That's waltz as in a particularly whirly type of dance. Hence the title."
He went on to explain that not many waltz-time songs make the pop or country music charts anymore, though when the occasional one hits, it can become very big. He mentioned "The Tennessee Waltz," which was a blockbuster for Patti Page; "Four Walls," by Jim Reeves; "He'll Have to Go," from the same artist; Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald;" and Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life" as a few examples over the years. There are also some three-quarter-time gems that never made the radio playlists, yet lots of people know them, though they've probably never paid any attention to the meter. "The Star-Spangled Banner," "God Save the Queen," "Happy Birthday to You," and "I'm in Love with the Garbage Man's Daughter" fall into this category.
"Oh, yeah," M added, "and there was a little money-maker by Willie Nelson called 'Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.' Chew on that title! It has ten words in it; mine's only got seven."
While I was fact-checking all this prior to posting, I also found another waltz-time ditty by Willie Nelson called "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other," which I like even better than the one M mentioned. I still need to Google that Strauss guy whose name he suggested for today's title. I'm guessing he probably wrote waltzes, too.
But now for the good stuff. (As before, if you prefer to see the full-size version at YouTube, follow this link.)
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